Garden Photo of the Day

Peonies and Other Favorites

Favorite blooms from more than six decades of gardening

Lynn Crawford is sharing some of her favorite blooms from her garden with us today.

I have been an avid gardener for more than 60 years. My mother, Charlotte, and my Uncle Vincent were avid gardeners and great teachers. My interest and curiosity continue to expand along with my age: 73 years young. I reside in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and have lived in my present home for more than 42 years. The gardens are mature but are ever changing, some by design and others by uncontrolled factors.

As a member of Four Counties Garden Club, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and the Garden Club of America, I have enjoyed exhibiting and volunteering at the Philadelphia Flower Show for a number of years. I retired from a 34-year career in education and completed the Penn State Master Gardener Program. Presently I volunteer in the horticultural therapy program at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

My garden gives me great joy, yet I often jokingly say that I have a love/hate relationship with it. It is incredibly beautiful, but it requires continual maintenance. Spring has been especially beautiful this year, with daffodils, tulips (my favorite flower), dogwoods, viburnums, azaleas, rhododendrons, and peonies. Peonies have three common types: herbaceous, Itoh, and tree. Tree peonies are incredibly beautiful, with large, tissue-paper-like flowers in wonderful colors that usually bloom early in the season.

A view of Lynn’s garden. Lynn mentions a love/hate relationship with the garden, but all I see here is a lot to love!

It’s not hard to see why Lynn loves peonies so much! This is a tree peony, a type that has woody stems and large flowers and that usually blooms a little earlier than its herbaceous cousins.

Though many of the most common peonies are double flowered, with layers and layers of petals, this single form is stunningly beautiful. The single-flowered varieties also tend to stand up better without staking.

All peonies look incredible in a vase.

Another tree peony. This looks like it might be ‘High Noon’.

Later in the year, dahlias will put on their show; they are beautiful in the garden or in a vase.

Dahlias have nearly endless variety—and they’re all beautiful.


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View Comments


  1. nwphillygardener 05/24/2019

    Today in your area is a perfect day to step back and enjoy the beauty and aroma of those peonies, Lynn. Thank you for sharing them with us. With such a mature garden, I'll bet many of the clumps have a few blooms to spare for a vase.
    I'm guessing aromatherapy is not on the agenda at Bryn Mawr rehab, but your peonies could bring some rejuvenating spirit to staff and patients alike.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/24/2019

    I love peonies though I am too far south for them. Your blooms are so clean & I have to say probably show quality.

  3. paiya 05/24/2019

    Absolutely breathtaking and exquisite!

  4. btucker9675 05/24/2019

    That pink peony is perfection, and so is your garden!

  5. User avater
    simplesue 05/24/2019


  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/24/2019

    I would love to see additional photos of your overall garden. It looks like it's beautifully maintained. Your peonies are breathtaking.

  7. Musette1 05/24/2019

    it looks like a lot of work, tended with loving care - with incredible results. Your peonies are gorgeous!

  8. arboretum 05/25/2019

    unusually special peonies and i am inspired to obtain the pink ones, incl. the tree peony. can you i.d. them please?!
    th u,

  9. cwalda 05/25/2019

    What a beautiful garden. I love that you bring blooms inside to put in a vase. My grandmother and mother loved gardening too. I guess it’s in our genes I have a deep rose tree peony that is blooming now.

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